2022B Packing Operation: Success

What’s on more wheels than it should be, has three bulk bags of desiccant for a carry on, and is heading for a South American Vacation??? Only our favorite high contrast imaging system!

The team has spent the last week in booties and safety boots making sure that the instrument gets to Chile as cozy as possible.

Monday: Batten down the hatches!

Mere hours after its last lab experiment, MagAO-X is wrapped into shipping shape. This is the first “All hands on deck” of the week: cables unplugged, optics covered, mounts tightened, glycol drained, etc.

Prof. Close and Dr. Haffert work on protecting optical components as Logan and Dr. Males secure the cabling.

The whole package is wrapped, and rewrapped (after that thing we forgot), and wrapped a third time (just to be sure) in anti-dust plastic wrap and anti-static covers. You better believe we used extreme amounts of bubble wrap wherever possible.

Tuesday: A hard hat kind of day

Tuesday 7am and we’re back in lab (the morning people are, that is). We meet up with Tom and Pat, the guys qualified to work the heavy machinery, and get to work making MagAO-X portable. First, the crane with a fancy name is assembled with grad student labor and good balancing skills.

The final steps of the hallway assembly, requires lots of shimmying and a few good kicks.

We tuck the support into the lab, right below the highest point between the vents and lights. We lift the beam as high as possible, and attach a pulley system to hoist up MagAO-X. This gives us enough of a gap to attach a specially designed cart to the table’s base, the right width to wheel down to the cargo elevator.

MagAO-X has got its wheels.

After carefully wheeling our cargo to the loading doc, we get to work with unsealing the large wooden shipping crate.

Proper safety shoes and headgear are essential.
Dr.Males explains the finer points on disincentivizing bad shipping practices.

Next, we gently lift the instrument, wheel the base underneath, bolt the instrument to the crate base, then undo the cart. We can bolt the box back together once the top is lowered into place.

MagAO-X catching some air.
Top goes back on the box.

After the instrument, a lunch break. Then we do it all again with the electronics rack.

Electronic rack gets lifted into its box before getting turned to its side.
The electronics box gets re-bolted twice. After all this box work, you could call some of us drill experts.

Our two big boxes with instrument tucked in tight, and we’re done for the day. Done by 3pm? Our best time yet.

Friday: Load ‘er up!

The movers show up like clockwork, right during Logan’s internal symposium talk. Those of us not giving Xoomies facts hustle back from LPL to the loading doc and help scoot boxes to the forklift pickup.

Very important supervision work.
Goodbye computers!

The instrument is on the truck!

One 2 million dollar Jared Males signature later and the instrument is officially in the shipper’s hands. Have a nice flight to Chile MagAO-X, we’ll see you in November.

Bonus: MagAO-X says Happy Halloween

See you space cowboy!

Song o’ the day:

Historical and topical.